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Judge won't end VMI oversight yet /
U.S., state debated issue of progress

Saturday, April 17, 1999
Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

DANVILLE -- A federal judge yesterday said he will probably continue federal oversight of Virginia Military Institute's progress in integrating women on campus.

U.S. District Judge Jackson L. Kiser, who did not say when he will issue his decision, said he will probably follow the first class of women, who are in their second year, for another two years.

"I think it's probably too early to terminate oversight," Kiser said following about an hour and a half of debate on the matter by federal and state attorneys.

In June 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that VMI's 157-year history of accepting only men to the state-supported school was unconstitutional.

Later that year, Kiser rejected an argument by the Justice Department that VMI immediately provide a detailed plan for enrolling females, opting instead to have the school submit quarterly reports showing what steps it had taken, and was planning to take, toward coeducation.

But in December, VMI asked that the school no longer be monitored, and in January Kiser signed off on the request after a Justice Department clerical error lost the agency's request for additional time to respond to VMI's appeal.

Yesterday in U.S. District Court in Danville, Justice Department officials argued that while VMI has made progress in integrating women into campus life, much work remains and the school has given sparse progress reports.

Among the questions federal attorneys said the school has not answered: why some of the women applicants were rejected, how many of the school's scholarships are restricted by gender and their worth and plans to accommodate women's athletics.

Michael Maurer, a U.S. Department of Justice attorney, said that in
the last few months the parents of one female cadet have complained to the agency about their daughter being sexually harassed. He declined to give details. School attorneys said any such problem should have been brought to VMI.

"Their work has not been completed, and the process needs to
continue on," Maurer said. "They may be doing everything they're suppose to be doing, but there is no way of knowing that.

"There's simply no substitute for full reports."

But William Hurd, senior council to the attorney general, said the school has complied with the court's order, and the government is now trying to micromanage VMI.

"It's time to let VMI go," Hurd said. "They will never let VMI go voluntarily. What they need is an order telling them it is time to let go."

Hurd said the quarterly reports were never intended to be given indefinitely and were never intended to be on everything that happens on the campus.

"What the court ordered we report, we did report; and much more," Hurd said.

He said VMI has done a good job of planning for and integrating female cadets into school life and activities.

Those women who were denied admission were turned down for the same reasons as male applicants, Hurd said.

He added that 90 percent of the school's female cadets receive scholarship assistance, averaging $11,436, compared with 75 percent of the school's male cadets, who receive an average of $9,700.

"There is enough scholarship money available to ensure no qualifying woman applicant would go without some scholarship assistance," he said.

And while it was not mandated, VMI has altered its fitness requirement, Hurd said. Before, students not meeting requirements were largely on their own and lost privileges until they could come into compliance. With the revision, however, remediation training is now done twice a week and exercise equipment is available, Hurd said.

Meanwhile, Kiser praised VMI's coeducation and the leadership of Superintendent Josiah Bunting III.

"I think it's fair to say the entire nation has been impressed by the way . . . VMI has gone about its business of [integrating] women," he said.

Female Applicants to VMI Increase

The number of female applicants to the Virginia Military Institute could reach a new high this year. School officials said the number of women who have applied for admission to the Class of 2004 already has surpassed last year's total and is nearing the total received in 1997, the first year VMI accepted women.

By Thursday, 82 women had applied for admission to the school in Lexington, seven more than last year. The school already has accepted 59 women and expects slightly fewer than half to enroll. In 1997, there were 91 female applicants, of whom 67 were admitted and 30 matriculated. Twenty-two of those women, who are on track to graduate in 2001, remain enrolled in the school.

Col. Mike Strickler, a VMI spokesman, said the school accepts applications until mid-June, adding that VMI officials expect the school's largest overall applicant pool in this decade.

Former VMI cadet gets 9 years in robbery

FINCASTLE -- A former Virginia Military Institute cadet was sentenced to nine years in prison for the armed robbery of a Buchanan restaurant.

Bradley Clay Purcell, 20, told Botetourt County Circuit Judge George E. Honts III yesterday that he was on drugs at the time of the robbery last September of the North Star Restaurant shortly after it closed for the night.

Purcell, who was in his second year at VMI when he was arrested, had faced up to life in prison. He resigned from VMI after his arrest.

John White was convicted and sentenced in February as a youth offender for his role in the robbery. White was 17 at the time.

Spring Sports Update: The following represents some recent articles regarding a number of spring sports at VMI. During the past several weeks several participants have asked that some updates be provided.


April 14, 1999

LEXINGTON, Va. -- A seven-goal run by VMI through the second and third quarters helped the Keydets to outlast St. Andrews Presbyterian, 15-12, in lacrosse action Wednesday afternoon at VMI's Patchin Field in Lexington, Va.

VMI (5-5) nosed out to a 6-4 lead by the 4:46 mark of the second quarter, when Steve Schmidt's (Huntington Station, N.Y./Fork Union, Va.) shot at St. Andrews goalie Jesse Weber was mishandled and eventually put back into the Knights' net. That began a string of seven Keydet goals including one more by Schmidt, two by Matt Gallienne (Richmond, Va./Collegiate), and one each by Aaron Bush (Penfield, N.Y./Penfield), John Humphries (Salem, Va./Salem), and Mason Ayers (Richmond, Va./St. Christopher's) before St. Andrews would respond.

The 13-4 lead built by the Keydets with 6:07 remaining in the third quarter diminished quickly as the Knights (1-10, 1-3 Deep South Conf.) scored eight times, including five EMO goals, through the final 19 minutes of play.

St. Andrews' Brad Cann scored two goals in the span of 11 seconds to trim the VMI lead to 13-6, and Chaz Bulera's EMO goal made the score 13-7 by the end of the third quarter.

The two teams traded goals early in the fourth quarter, making the score 14-8, which Cann cut to 14-9 with his fourth goal of the game with 10:41 to play. Chris Novello scored a rare 'true' hat trick of three consecutive goals made even more unusual by the fact they were all EMO goals trimming the VMI lead to 14-12. However the Keydets successfully held off all further St. Andrews scoring attempts, and picked up an insurance goal by Matt Gehring (Richmond, Va./St. Christopher's) in the waning moments of the game to post the 15-12 win.

VMI goalies Cregg Burns (Syracuse, N.Y./Christian Bros. Acad.) and Alexander Ayers (Richmond, Va./St. Christopher's) combined to turn away 11 St. Andrews shots, while Knights goalie Weber made nine saves.

The Keydets next go into action on Saturday, April 17, at 1 p.m., when they host Lehigh University at Patchin Field.


April 17, 1999

LEXINGTON, Va. -- Lehigh scored 15 goals before the Keydets put their first point on the scoreboard, on their way to a 22-3 win over VMI in lacrosse action Saturday afternoon at VMI's Patchin Field in Lexington.

VMI (5-7) did not get their first goal of the afternoon until the 10:02 mark of the third quarter, when Mason Ayers (Richmond, Va./St. Christopher's) ended VMI's goal drought.

Lehigh (6-3, 3-0 Patriot League) grabbed a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, with seven different players tallying goals for the Mountain Hawks. The lead doubled to 14-0 by halftime, with Christian Castellani and Scott Reynolds each scoring twice in the second quarter.

Castellani scored two more in the third quarter, and added one more in the final frame, to finish as the game's high scorer with five goals.

Matt Gallienne (Richmond, Va./Collegiate) and Mike Dunn (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) scored the remaining two goals for the Keydets.

The Mountain Hawks outshot VMI 45 to 15 during the contest, and out-groundballed the Keydets 35 to 32. Lehigh goalie Todd Schreiner made five saves during the afternoon, while Keydet netminders Cregg Burns (Syracuse, N.Y./Christian Bros. Acad.) and Alexander Ayers (Richmond, Va./St. Christopher's) combined for four saves.

VMI next sees action on Wednesday, April 21, when it heads to Columbus, Ohio, to battle Ohio State. Game time is 3:30 p.m.


April 17, 1999

LEXINGTON, Va. -- Scott Thompkins' (Sumter, S.C./Sumter) solo homer to lead-off the seventh inning allowed VMI to post a 2-1 win in the second game of a doubleheader with East Tennessee State, in Southern Conference baseball action Saturday afternoon at VMI's Patchin Field in Lexington, Va.

VMI and the Buccaneers split the doubleheader, with ETSU posting a 16-9 win over the Keydets in the first game of the day.

The Keydets (19-17, 11-11 Southern) took the lead in the second, when Thompkins reached on a dropped ball by Buccaneer first baseman Nathan Copeland. Thompkins was moved around the bases on a single by Rob Riley (Springfield, Va./West Springfield), and scored on a single to center field by Ryan Colvin (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth).

East Tennessee State (18-17, 11-9 Southern) scored their only run of the second game in the third inning, when Nathan Copeland tripled to left field, and was plated on the next at bat by Travis Blevins with a sacrifice fly to right.

The game remained tied until Thompkins belted his shot over the left field fence.

Ian Ostlund (Singers Glen, Va./Turner Ashby) picked up the win, in relief of starter Matt Poulos (Ft. Belvoir, Va./Hayfield). The two Keydet pitchers combined to strike out six, while giving up only two hits. ETSU's Matt Baber turned in an equally fine performance, fanning five Keydets while walking one and giving up only six hits, on his way to a complete game loss.

In game one, three Bucs drove in eight runs on four homers to lead ETSU to the nine-inning victory.

ETSU posted five runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. The Buccaneer fifth was keyed by a two-run double by Ed Sparks, followed by a two-run homer by Matt Nunley. In the sixth, Rusty Swackhamer scored Brandon Eierman with a double to center, and Sparks homered three batters later to plate Swackhamer and Lance Torbett. Copeland homered two batters after Sparks, producing an additional run.

VMI scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth, briefly making the score 9-6 for ETSU, but that was as close as the Keydets would get. Eric Walker (Union Hall, Va./Franklin Co.) keyed the VMI fifth with a three-run home run.

The two teams complete the three-game set Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Patchin Field.

April 18, 1999

LEXINGTON, Va. -- VMI pounded out 14 runs on 19 hits as the Keydets defeated East Tennessee State, 14-7, in Southern Conference baseball action Sunday afternoon at VMI's Patchin Field in Lexington, Va.

The win gave VMI a two-games-to-one advantage in the three-game series between the two clubs.

VMI (20-17, 12-11 Southern) posted big innings in the second, sixth, and seventh innings on their way to the victory.

Two of the Keydet runs in the second inning were scored off Stephen Johnson's (Marshall, Va./Fauquier) one-out triple to right field. Johnson later came home on a single by Ed Pearson (Hampton, Va./Bethel), and Pearson was plated on a double by Chris Catanzaro (Kaneohe, Hawaii/East Lake, Fla.).

VMI scored four more runs in the sixth on singles by Johnson, Eric Walker (Union Hall, Va./Franklin Co.), and Michael Goldman (Midlothian, Va./Midlothian), another double by Catanzaro, and walks to Ben Bradford (Midlothian, Va./Clover Hill) and Scott Thompkins (Sumter, S.C./Sumter).

More Keydet runs were plated in the seventh on doubles by Pearson and Goldman, and a sacrifice fly by Bradford.

East Tennessee State (18-18, 11-10) scored three of their runs on homers by Ed Sparks and Rusty Swackhamer in the second and third innings respectively.

VMI reliever Brannon Howle (Richmond, Va./D.S. Freeman) picked up his fifth win of the season, while Ian Ostlund (Singers Glen, Va./Turner Ashby) earned his sixth save of the season. Ostlund entered the game with bases loaded and two out in the seventh, and forced Swackhamer to fly out to right field to get out of the inning. He then struck out four batters over two innings to give VMI the win.

Buccaneer starter Michael Harrell picked up his first loss of the season, falling to 3-1.

VMI's next game will be Tuesday, April 20, when the Keydets host William and Mary at 3 p.m. at Patchin Field.


April 20, 1999

LEXINGTON, VA - William & Mary's Mike O'Kelly went 3 for 4 and drove in four runs to lead the Tribe to a 12-5 victory over VMI Tuesday afternoon at Patchin Field in Lexington.

The Tribe pounded out a 13-hit attack off seven VMI pitchers to knotch its fifth win in the last seven games. Center fielder Charles Wilson collected four hits in five trips and scored two runs for the visitors.

VMI took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the first on Michael Goldman's two-run homer and John Yates' RBI double. After the Tribe knotted the game with two runs in the third, VMI plated an unearned run in the bottom half of the frame to nudge ahead, 4-3.

Keydet reliever Chris Riley took over in the fourth inning from Abe Hughes. After retiring the first batter, Riley was greeted with a solo shot from Tribe third baseman Brendan Harris which tied the game at 4-4. William & Mary took the lead for good later in the inning when Chris Clarke walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on O'Kelly's two-out RBI single.

The Tribe scored in each of the next two innings, producing three runs on just two hits and taking advantage of four walks issued by VMI relievers. William & Mary was equally effective on the basepaths and stole eight bases on the afternoon.

Cliff Wilson pitched 4-2/3 innings of relief and surrendered just one run to earn his first victory of the year.

Tribe hurler Ben Shepard closed out the game with 2- 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to keep the Keydet bats quiet.

Goldman finished as VMI's top hitter - going 3 for 5 with two homers and three RBI on the day.

VMI next faces Western Carolina Saturday in a Southern Conference doubleheader at 1 pm.


LEXINGTON, Va. -- Junior centerfielder Ed Pearson (Hampton, Va./Bethel) was named Reebok/Southern Conference Player-of-the-Week for the week of April 12-18, the conference office announced this afternoon in Asheville, N.C.

Pearson hit .529 (9-of-17) for the week to lead VMI to a pair of Southern Conference wins over East Tennessee State.

Pearson keyed the victory in the series finale with 5-of-6 batting, including a pair of doubles, one home run, four RBI, and four runs scored. The Keydets' leadoff hitter was 6-of-13 in the series against ETSU. His second home run was a solo shot in the first game.

In non-conference action, Pearson was 3-of-4 with a pair of doubles against William and Mary.

VMI is now 20-17 overall, and 12-11 in the Southern Conference. It marks the most SoCon victories by a Keydet baseball team (12).

April 22, 1999

JOHNSON CITY, TENN. —- VMI's Martin Dickson and Western Carolina's Altavise Franklin took leads in the multi-event competition to kick off the Southern Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the Liberty Bell Track Complex, Thursday afternoon.

Dickson won two of the first five events on the day en route to a364-point lead over Brad Berry of Western Carolina (3250). AppalachianState's Daniel Duckworth is in third with 3077 points.

Franklin tallied 2741 in the first four events of the women's heptathlonand holds a 364-point lead over The Citadel's Peaches Hudson (2377). WCU'sDee Mittman is in third with 2346 points.

Today marks the beginning of the first ever multi-event competition in theSouthern Conference. Friday's schedule will start at 9:00 a.m. with the finals of the women'shammer. 

Decathlon results (After 5 Events)
1. Martin Dickson (VMI) 32532.
Brad Berry (WCU) 32503.
Daniel Duckworth (ASU) 30774.
Joe Condrey (WCU) 26085.
Josh Langley (WCU) 2507 

Heptathlon results (After 4 Events)1.
Altavise Franklin (WCU) 27412.
Peaches Hudson (TCU) 23773.
Dee Mittman (CIT) 23464.
Lena Summers (ETSU) 22075.
Anna Hutcherson (UTC) 21406.
Jayna Bryant (WCU) 2122
FROM THE SoCon Web Page:

Johnson Doubles to Help Western Carolina Men To Large Lead At SoCon Outdoor Track Championship

April 23, 1999

JOHNSON CITY, TENN. — Western Carolina’s Phillip Johnson recorded two individual titles on the day to pace the Catamounts to a 29-point lead at the Southern Conference Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Friday afternoon.

Johnson, a senior, earned first-place efforts in the shot put and hammer throw events. WCU’s Brad Berry captured the Catamounts’ other top finish by winning the SoCon’s first-ever decathlon.

WCU posted double-digit points in the long jump, shot put, hammer as well as the decathlon to grab the early lead. Johnson placed ahead of teammate Jeb Hall in the shot put, while the Catamounts had three athletes total 19 points in the decathlon.

The four other titles up for grabs during the first day were divided by four different schools. Appalachian State’s Will Dickerson crossed the finish line first in the 10,000-meters, while Chattanooga’s Shon Grice won the 3,000-meter steeplechase. East Tennessee State’s Jason Farr (high jump) and VMI’s Smith Lamoytna (long jump) were the other winners.

WCU is attempting to break a string of 21-consecutive outdoor men’s titles won by either Appalachian State or VMI.

The men’s competition will get started at 10:30 a.m. with the finals of the discus at the Liberty Bell Track Complex.

Team Results (thru seven events)
1. Western Carolina 78
2. Appalachian State 49
3. VMI 43
4. East Tennessee State 40
5. The Citadel 21
6. Chattanooga 16
Furman 16
8. Davidson 4
Southern Conference Internship Opportunities

The Southern Conference, an NCAA Division I Athletic Conference in Asheville, North Carolina, is now accepting applications for two (2) 10-month, paid internships. Candidates must have the ability to work within the framework of Southern Conference and NCAA regulations. Compensation is $1,000 per month. The individuals chosen will have duties as assigned by the Commissioner and internship coordinator. Both internships will offer a comprehensive experience in all areas of conference administration.

One internship will focus primarily in the areas of championships and marketing. Assigned tasks will include, but are not limited to, assisting the Assistant Commissioner for Championships and Special Events with the administration of 18 Conference championship events and assisting the Associate Commissioner for Marketing, Licensing, Promotions, Radio and Television with the administration of the marketing and promotions program.

The second internship will focus primarily in the areas of compliance and business operations. Assigned tasks will include, but are not limited to, assisting the Assistant Commissioner for Compliance and Student Services in the administration of conference and NCAA rules compliance and student-athlete services and assisting the Assistant Commissioner for Internal Affairs with daily conference operations.

Qualifications: The successful applicants should possess a bachelor's degree (advanced degree candidate preferred), have a background in sports administration, and must have strong communication, organizational, and computer skills. Applicants must have initiative and drive to complete tasks as assigned, working independently to meet conference deadlines. It is also preferred that the candidates have experience in either championships administration, marketing, compliance, or business operations.

These internships are available August 1, 1999. Interested candidates should send a letter of application indicating the internship of choice, resume, and list of references to: Ms. Sue Arakas, Intern Search Committee, The Southern Conference, One West Pack Square, Suite 1508, Asheville, North Carolina 28801-3406. The application deadline is May 15. The Southern Conference is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

A Correction: In a recent update I mentioned that Bill Jennings '82 had started an engineering firm in Lynchburg and that he was looking for some help. Unfortunately the phone and fax number I provided was actually the fax number. The phone number should have been listed as 804-846-6510.

That's it for this week.

RB Lane '75

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